OPEC minimum oil production increase during March

RIYADH— OPEC oil production increased by just 57,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March from February, as African members’ struggles to pump more crude partially offset increases at the core OPEC members of the Middle East.

All 13 OPEC members—including Libya, Iran, and Venezuela which are exempted from the OPEC+ deal—pumped 28.56 million bpd in March, up by just 57,000 bpd from February, according to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report, (MOMR) published this week.

Crude oil output increased mainly in the three Arab Gulf producers—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE, while production in Libya, Nigeria, and Congo declined.

Saudi Arabia raised its production by 54,000 bpd to 10.262 million bpd in March, according to OPEC’s secondary sources. That compares with 10,331 million bpd quota for Saudi Arabia for March per the OPEC+ deal. The Saudis self-reported March crude oil production of 10.300 million bpd, OPEC said in the report.

UAE raised its production by 23,000 bpd to 2.983 million bpd, per OPEC’s secondary sources, compared to a quota of 2.976 million bpd. Kuwait’s production rose by 25,000 bpd to 2.639 million bpd, in line with its quota under the OPEC+ deal.

While the Arab Gulf producers more or less complied with their quotas, African producers such as Nigeria, Congo, and Angola saw their production drop, with Nigeria’s output down by 24,000 bpd to 1.354 million bpd. That’s a massive underachievement compared to Nigeria’s quota of 1.718 million bpd.

In terms of expected supply from non-OPEC producers this year, OPEC revised down its supply growth estimate by 300,000 bpd to growth of 2.7 million bpd, mostly due to a downward revision of Russia’s liquids production—down by 530,000 bpd. OPEC, however, raised its estimate for U.S. crude oil production growth by 260,000 bpd.

“While most US oil companies continue to focus on paying off debts and returning capital to shareholders, increasing drilling and completion trends could translate into higher production levels in the coming months,” the cartel said. “Therefore, the US liquids supply growth forecast for 2022 is revised up by 0.26 mb/d to 1.29 mb/d.”


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